End your fly-fishing days in riverside comfort and luxury at the South Holston River Lodge.

4.6 out of 5 Customer Rating
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South Holston River Lodge

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge


Phone icon877-767-7875 Phone icon423-747-6694 Link iconsouthholstonriverlodge.com
1509 Bullock Hollow Rd
Bristol, TN 37620

Orvis is pleased to offer our travel customers access to two valuable services: Global Rescue travel membership and IMG Signature Travel Insurance℠.

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The Story

South Holston River Lodge has been hosting anglers since 2009 and just recently joined the ranks of the Orvis-endorsed lodge program for 2016. In fact, we are the only all-inclusive Orvis-endorsed lodge in our region that caters specifically to the South Holston and Watauga Tailwaters in Eastern Tennessee. These two rivers offer a true Western-style fly-fishing experience with daily sulphur, blue-wing, and caddis hatches depending on what time of the year you can join us. The lodge has been known as " A Slice of Heaven" that offers luxury riverside accommodations, knowledgeable and patient guides who are outstanding instructors, and dining that you will truly anticipate as you return from the river after a great day of catching fish.

You will be met with a warm welcome from the staff at SHRL as you escape from the reality of everyday life and depart on a Flyfishing adventure that will take your breath away.

South Holston River Lodge is located at 1676 feet above sea level. You will be surrounded by plush rolling mountains and river valleys in the heart of the Smokey Mountains. According to Cherokee legend, the Great Smoky Mountains were formed centuries ago when a giant buzzard, wearily circling the earth after a great flood, plummeted to the ground in exhaustion. Where his vast wings hit the earth the mountain valleys appeared. The Cherokee Indians were also intrigued by the bluish mist that crept through this mountainous region in present-day Tennessee and North Carolina which they named "Sha-cona-ge" which means land of the blue mist. This mist, or river fog can be enjoyed most mornings on the river.

Typical Weather by Season: You can expect four distinct seasons in East Tennessee, our winters are fairly mild compared the north or western states and our summers are quite comfortable especially from a drift boat.

What Should Customers Bring?
At SHRL our program is designed for you to pack as light as possible. All we recommend you bring is a quality rain jacket, comfortable footwear, polarized sunglasses, toiletries, and appropriate clothing for the conditions. If you would like to bring your own fishing gear you are more than welcome but we provide everything you need for your days of fishing.

What is a Tailwater?

Tailwater refers to waters located immediately downstream from a hydraulic structure, such as a dam (excluding minimum release such as for fish water), bridge or culvert.
Tailwater can refer to a type of fishery. Tailwater fisheries can be defined as Tailrace fishing which occurs at the outflow from large dams, where the size of the reservoir creates a steep temperature gradient, with colder water stored at the bottom of the reservoir near the outlet. The constant cold-water flow provided by the reservoir's outflow, coupled with the generally silt-free nature of the outflow, creates ideal water conditions for cold-water fish such as trout in environments that ordinarily might not support a robust trout population.

When is a good time to fish?

We fish great 12 months a year. You tell us how you would prefer to fish i.e. dry fly, indicator, sight fishing, streamers, etc., and we will direct you towards the right season.

Is alcohol included in our package?

Absolutely!! We offer complimentary beer and wine during your entire stay with us and you have a fully stocked fridge of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages in your cabin. We can assure you that we have a large variety of beverages to keep you properly hydrated during your stay. If you prefer liquor? We just ask that you bring that on your own and we will provide mixers if necessary.

How far are you from the airport?

We are a 30 minute drive to Tri-Cities regional airport. This is the only airport we offer a complimentary shuttle to and from.

Species you Fish for by Season:


Our main focus 12 months a year is brown and rainbow trout.  Striped Bass can be caught during the summer months.  Smallmouth bass opportunities are available in the spring and fall.  If you would like to chase a Muskie we do offer trips during the late fall and winter months.

Rate Range:


Our rates range from $1,520 per person double occupancy for a 3 night/2 day stay up to $3,275.00 per person double occupancy for a 6 night/ 5 day stay. For single occupancy please add $235/per fishing day. Our nonangling rate is $350/day.

Date Range:
With the South Holston and Watauga Rivers both being tailwaters our water temperature and flow are consistent year-round. In a nutshell, we are a true year-round fishery making SHRL a great destination when other rivers are unfishable due to water fluctuation and temperature change, we fish 12 MONTHS A YEAR!

What is provided to Customer:


All flyfishing gear and flies are provided by SHRL but if you would like to use your own equipment please feel free.  The only items that you are responsible for are a valid Tennessee fishing license, rain gear and polarized sunglasses.  If you happen to forget any of these items we can provide them for you.  We recommend that you purchase a fishing license before you arrive to SHRL but if this is something you have not done we can assist you once you reach the lodge.

Lodging Meals and Accommodations:


We have four stand-alone cabins on the property giving you your space when you want it. The accommodations are most luxurious, giving you the feel that you never left home. All of our cabins have great porches that overlook the river and all of the basic amenities that you would find in your own home. Dinnertime at SHRL is a casual affair and formal dress is not required. All of the meals at the lodge are served family style at a large 12 foot old barn wood dining table. We offer two choices each night for dinner, two choices for lunch and a breakfast buffet every morning. If you have a special request, dietary restriction or food allergy, we ask that you inform us of this during your pre-trip phone call one week prior to your arrival.

Sample of Typical Trip:


A typical trip to South Holston River Lodge starts by being greeted riverside on the lodge property or at baggage claim at tri-cities regional airport by one of our managers. After all introductions we gather in the Blue Wing Olive cabin where cold refreshments and a snack await. After all of the required licensing and paperwork is complete for your stay you will be given a brief overview of our fishing program and an orientation of the property. During this time SHRL staff will transport your luggage to your cabin where it will be waiting for you. After check-in concludes we will escort you to your cabin where you may relax until dinner or you may take advantage of our on-site activities. These activities include, fly fishing, horseshoes, pool table, dartboard, large fire pit, and a Jacuzzi.

During fishing days we typically have breakfast at 7:00am. We serve breakfast buffet style with eggs to order. Fruit, biscuits and sausage gravy, breakfast potatoes, sausage or bacon, yogurt, and cereal come standard every morning at the lodge. Your guide will arrive shortly before 8am to discuss the day’s strategy and let you know the best options for the day given the water schedule. You will have lunch on the water with your guide and return to the lodge around 5:00pm to unwind before dinner. Every evening at 6:00 starts with cocktail and hor’ dourve hour followed by a delicious three course dinner. Your palate will be thoroughly satisfied by wonderful regional cuisine with a farm to table mentality prepared by our Executive Chef J.D. Murray and chefs Brian Knickerbocker and Max Sargent.

On departure days there is a full breakfast before you start your travels. We know how valuable vacation time is and strive to make every trip an unforgettable one. There are few requests that we cannot accommodate so please ask how we can customize your trip to make it the most rewarding for you.

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another Great stay This is the sixth time we've stayed and it keeps getting better! Even with COVID-19 we had an excellent stay. They really work to keep everyone safe and still have a great time. Cabin was excellent, clean and fully stocked with beer and wine, the meals were excellent as always. JD really know how to prepare excellent food. Staff was extremely attentive to requests. We used Andrew as a guide and had a great time on the water, his knowledge and expertise made the days fun and fast moving. Even though it rained two of other thrre days it was still an excellent trip. We've already booked another trip for next Sept.
Date published: 2021-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Premier Lodge Experience in Eastern US The title says it all. Great staff, great customer service, great food, and last but not least, great fishing!
Date published: 2021-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Everything is first rate. I have stayed here a number of times and have never been disappointed. The staff is second to none and always goes out of their way to make sure your comfort is their primary concern. And then there is the food, delicious and expertly crafted to give you the best meal experience possible. Then there is the fishing and the SHRL guides, both working together to give the best fly fishing outing the East has to offer. Photo from an earlier trip...
Date published: 2021-05-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent in every way Good rooms, great staff, terrific food, beautiful views, big fish, no complaints
Date published: 2021-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The very best people!! We had a great time in every way. The people at the lodge did absolutely everything we could have dreamed of to make the stay wonderful. The guides were awesome even in the pouring rain. Thanks to everyone for making it so memorable.
Date published: 2021-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ideal Lodge for Corporate Travel or Hosted Trip From the first time I spoke with Jon the manager I knew we were going to be in good hands at the SHRL. We spent 5 nights and 4 days this April at the lodge. Upon arrival the staff went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed for a worry free stay. The guides were knowledgable and a pleasure to fish with. The trout were wild and beautiful. Usually you are sad to see a day on the water end however once back at the lodge you realize your in for another incredible dinner with friends. The lodge staff made sure safety was paramount and catered to each guests comfort level going above and beyond to put each guest at ease. I highly recommend a stay at the SHRL for your next corporate or hosted travel destination.
Date published: 2021-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Are You Ready for some 'TVA Fun'? This is an all inclusive destination fishing extravaganza. Top shelf guides, accommodations, food service and smiles. My wife and I had a very memorable time on our 3 night/2 day fishing trip. The entire staff bends over backwards to make your trip special. Our guide made the most of our time on the Watauga and South Holston rivers. Both rivers are controlled by the TVA to make electricity, hence the water levels can be constantly in flux; a major problem for all the guides. One morning on the Wataga, we watched the river drop 15" over the span of one hour, prompting a quick move to the South Holston after lunch. Our Guide referred to these conditions as "TVA-Fun'. Summer water levels are usually higher due to increased need for electricity production from the dams. In all it was a pleasure to visit South Holston River Lodge. We will definitely be back.
Date published: 2021-04-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply Fantastic Just wrapped up 5 nights/four days. John and the entire SHRL simply have it dialed in-from the location, the accommodations, the service, the hospitality, the food and ultimately the entire experience! Great guides and great fishing, great food and beautiful rivers! Already booking my next trip.
Date published: 2021-04-09
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